Every so often I get an overwhelming urge to get rid of things. I find myself mentally going thru closets, drawers & cupboards & discarding things. Then, as soon as I find a moment, I dig out the offending items & move them to a designated "donate" bag or shelf. Lately, the notion has spread to other parts of my life. I used to cringe at the boxed foods in my pantry with their hard to read lists of ingredients. While I think we've made great strides in the types of food we buy, starting the process only makes me want to do better. And finally, my amazing children. I believe we must find a balance between showering them with love & instilling confidence - and not more stuff, resulting in whiny, materialistic kids who run our lives.
So, from the over-cluttered closets, to over-processed food & even over-indulged children, how can we stop the cycle, step back & simplify?
Do we need all this stuff? Absolutely, not, and deep down, I think we know that. But a little voice says, "what if we find that perfect use, fix that broken piece or just want to keep it because it's pretty?" I've long hated being governed by things. I love a good purge and the satisfaction of an organized basement. But it doesn't stop me from stashing things to deal with later. I just finished reading "Married to Bhutan" by Linda Leaming, (a country I'm slightly obsessled with), and along with fuleing my desire to visit was a renewed admiration for the way the Bhutanese live. Many of them don't have electricity or plumbing and live in mud homes without insulation. Materially they are a poor country, and yet, they are some of the happiest people on the planet. How so? Because they live in the present, value life, nature and each other & don't care so much about acquiring things. Simplify.
Along with having too much crap (pardon me), why must we put so much of it in our bodies? Because it's easy & we're all pressed for time. I'm no chef & between having an infant, a toddler and a business, I seldom have time to feed myself, let alone concoct a gourmet meal. However, when I do manage to make a dish from scratch I feel an amazing sense of gratification. The website 100 Days of Real Food has been my latest source of inspiration. Coupled with the fact that my son will start solids soon, I am striving to chop a few more veggies and avoid more boxes. Getting back to real food - Simplify.
And finally, this New Yorker article, "Spoiled Rotten" shared by a friend has prompted me to take a closer look at how I deal with my toddler.I want her to be responsible and independent & myself less controlling. I've been wondering about starting her on an allowance, earned thru simple tasks. And I've been looking for ways to handle our battle of the wills. I'll admit that I occasionally resort to promises of treats for good behavior. But rather than rewarding with THINGS, how can I instill values that result in the desire to behave in a certain way? (A child who puts toys away, or gets ready for bed without being asked, or at least without a fight)? I'm not looking for miracles, but these things do happen in other cultures and I'd like to shift a little more in that direction if we could. Less stuff, more focus on responsibility. Simplify.
Anyway, these were the thoughts racing thru my mind at 6:30 this morning and I wanted to share. So, along with the laundry and the laundry list of things to do, I'm going to keep thinking on these points and bit by bit finding ways to incorporate them into our lives. Because, in the end, I want to live for today, enjoy what we have and where we are. And for me that starts with: SIMPLIFY.